Govt considers demand by media
The print media, which has seen advertising dry up has also been hit hard by disruption of circulation –– from unfounded fears of newspapers carrying the virus. It has sought relief on the 5% customs duty on the import of newsprint.Updated: Apr 21, 2020 03:18 IST
The Information and Broadcasting ministry has agreed to radio operators making deferred payments of their license fee and referred to the finance ministry, demands of the print media industry for a reduction of customs duty on newsprint.
According to a senior government official, the demands of broadcasters and the film industry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown enforced to combat it have also been flagged to the finance ministry.
“The I&B ministry has received a series of requests and it has acted on them keeping in mind the situation. One of the demands of the radio industry has been deferment of license fee dues. Therefore, we have allowed the payments due for the months of April, May and June to be made in the next quarter,” said the official.
The print media, which has seen advertising dry up has also been hit hard by disruption of circulation –– from unfounded fears of newspapers carrying the virus. It has sought relief on the 5% customs duty on the import of newsprint.
“The issue has been referred to the finance ministry for its consideration since this involves financial implications. Recently, the customs duty was brought down from 10% to 5%. The demands of the broadcasting sector and the cinema industry too have been flagged to the finance ministry ,” added the official.
On March 24, the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) wrote a letter to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman emphasising that while newspapers were going above and beyond the call of duty to spread awareness in the face of the global pandemic coronavirus, they were themselves in grave danger of turning sick.